When we work towards the eradication of structures that perpetuate poverty in our communities, those that divide us, systems that perpetuate classism or any form of caste system, we each become the light that others see around them. This is also how we embody the glory of God as was experienced by the shepherds in the Lukan narrative.
Luke’s wordplay allows us to see this story as something larger than a particular Jesus event with a particular woman in a particular synagogue on a particular Sabbath. A one-off, straightforward healing event can be described without such wordplay. Through the creativity of his storytelling, Luke makes this moment a signal event, about a Daughter of Abraham and the work of the Christ.
Luke states with exquisite and unmistakable clarity that God will not hesitate to silence those with power, and give a bullhorn to those without power, even ensuring that—if need be—the creation itself will speak justice into the world.
We look for revelations on the mountain tops—among the most powerful and famous. God’s politics of reversal, on display throughout Luke, call us to re-center this search in the valleys and level places, in the face of the child and the plea of a father.
Both in Jesus’ baptism and in the later giving of the Spirit through the laying on of hands in the early Church, we see significance accorded to touch. This importance given to touch—to the tangible—summons us into the realm of human and bodily connection and engagement with others.